Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Guillermina
Knowing how to hold a catfish properly is important. Whether you are fishing for them or handling them for other purposes such as spawning, you need to handle them properly to avoid getting hurt yourself or causing unnecessary stress to the fish. Keep reading this article to learn how to do it right.
The group of catfish is diverse. They all however have prominent distinguishing features that have led to them being called, catfish. They all have barbels that resemble a cat’s whiskers. Catfish also possess ray fins and have a wide range of sizes that they can get up to, depending on the species and environmental conditions in which they are growing.
Different species of catfish are endemic to different parts of the world. Due to their hardiness, fast growth rates, great feed utilization ratios and tolerance to a wide range of water quality conditions, they have become a popular aquaculture (fish farming) species in many countries in Asia and Africa among others.
Due to their low maintenance requirements, they also make good aquarium and pond fishes for aspiring and novice aquarists. They can take a bit of neglect so they are a good fish to start with for someone who has no prior knowledge of fish care and maintenance. These fish can survive in virtually any kind of aquatic environment.
Why Hold Catfish?
So what are the reasons that would require someone to hold a catfish you might ask yourself? There are a couple of reasons why you would need to handle them. This is especially true for the ones we keep in captivity, such as aquariums or aquaculture systems.
Some of the reasons for handling catfish include; when you need to transfer the fish from one tank to another, needing to move the catfish to a temporary location in order to clean or fix the aquarium, and in aquaculture, you may need to handle the fish to weigh them or for spawning purposes. You may also need to know how to remove catfish from hook if you have been fishing for it.
Whatever your reasons for needing to handle them, it is very important to know how to hold a catfish properly. Let us get into the details.
How To Hold A Catfish Properly
Catfish, especially when they are still small have sharp pectoral and dorsal fins that can cause problems when you handle them, so knowing where to grab a catfish is important when you hold it. You can get finned if you are not careful. As the catfish grows, the risk comes reduced because the fins are not as sharp.
How To Hold A Small Catfish
The best way to hold a small fish is from the top. Place the area between your thumb and forefinger just behind the dorsal spine of the fish. This will help you avoid the spiky fins. Use this method for any fish that is small enough for you to put your fingers around, and hold firmly.
How To Hold A Larger Size Catfish
Once the catfish gets to a size that you can’t put your fingers around, use a scoop net to get them out of the water. From the net, hold the fish by their lips. Be careful not to put your fingers too deep into the mouth of the fish. Just put them in enough to get a good grip on the fish so that it does not get away from you.
Can You Grab A Catfish By The Mouth?
Grabbing a catfish by its mouth is only recommended for larger fish. At this size, there is a lower risk of getting finned by the sharp dorsal and pectoral fins which would be a problem with smaller fishes. So if you need to ranger larger fish for photographs, weighting, or any other reason. The mouth of a catfish can however be abrasive, so you can use the help of these fish grips to help you.
How To Hold A Catfish Without Getting Stung
Contrary to what you may have heard or think, catfish whiskers do not sting. They can cause a bit of discomfort when you are holding the fish but they absolutely will not string you. The danger of getting hurt when holding a catfish is getting spiked by the dorsal and pectoral fins, especially with the smaller ones.
What To Do If You Get Finned By Catfish
Even when you know the rules and are being careful, you always run the risk of getting finned by catfish. So what should you do if you ever find yourself in this situation? There are a number of options available to you here, depending on where you are and what resources you have available.
The first option is to disinfect the finned area with a product such as hydrogen peroxide, or any other antiseptic product that you may have. If it is a really bad finning, you may also need to take a painkiller to help relieve the pain.
The second option is to put the finned area in hot water. This will also keep help relieve the pain.
In a case where you are in the wild, maybe fishing and have no access to antiseptics or hot water, experience fishermen say running the area onto the belly of the fish may help. The mucus of not fish will dissipate the pain as soon as it comes into contact with the wound. You may want to try this the next time you get finned by a catfish.
Conclusion – How To Hold A Catfish Properly
We hope you have gotten some valuable information from this article on how to hold a catfish properly. Remember that a catfish does not sting, and the danger will come from the sharp fins. Hold the catfish in such a way that you can avoid this from happening. And if you are ever unlucky and get finned despite your best efforts to avoid it, the methods outlined above will help relieve the pain.
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